Starz’s historical drama Spartacus captivates viewers with its epic action scenes and likable, inspiring characters that are easy to root for. Even some of the villains are fairly likable – thanks to their dynamic personalities and motives. Aside from the iconic rebel himself, Spartacus’ ally and rival Crixus is also a fan-favorite. He acts as a grittier, less-refined counterpart to Spartacus, whose passions and willingness to fight shine through.

Yet, this Gaulish gladiator-turned-rebel also has his share of oddities and questionable motives throughout the series. There are plenty of fist-pumping moments for Crixus, but there are a number of bouts that can induce some head-scratching as well.

10 Batiatus Seeing Potential In Him As A Stone Hauler

During the prequel season of Spartacus, viewers get to see the humble origins of Crixus as a stone hauler for Tullius’ new arena. In an attempt to seemingly justify his quick elevation from a slave to a gladiator, he’s then seen fighting with another slave – and Batiacus takes notice.

This somehow inspires Batiatus to purchase the Gaul at the steep price of fifty denarii. The Lanista does this as a maneuver to gain the favoritism of Tullius, but one can’t help but wonder what he saw in Crixus. Why this particular stone hauler? His knack for starting fights would seem to indicate erratic or rebellious behavior, yet for some reason, this motivates Batiatus to purchase him.

9 Going Against Medicus’ Recommendation To Wait Before Training Again

During the middle portion of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Crixus is hobbled from his near-defeat of the hulking gladiator that is Theokoles. He wishes to be back on his feet and fighting again – yet he decides to go against the orders of the Medicus and return to training several days before he recommends.

He essentially intimidates him into allowing him back to the Ludus and the arena soon after. Given his eagerness to fight and remain healthy, it’s odd that he would ignore the warnings of the Medicus – as going back too early would only reinjure the Gaul and set him back even further.

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8 His Eagerness In Defeating The Champion Gannicus

There are more than a few instances of this Gaul’s stubbornness and reckless abandon nearly getting him into trouble. Another such example is his eagerness to gun for the champion of Capua during Gods of the Arena despite being just a recruit at this time. Much like Spartacus, Crixus has ambitions to swiftly move up the ranks and take the title of champion, even if it means fighting way out of his league.

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During an exhibition in the Ludus, he nearly bests Gannicus but is still clearly outmatched. Once the element of surprise is gone, it becomes apparent that Crixus still has a ways to go in terms of skill. This is admirable, though it very much could have gotten him killed. In fact, it was only thanks to the favoritism of Lucretia’s friend Gaia that he was spared after being defeated by Gannicus.

7 Breaking Ashur’s Leg In The Arena

Crixus’ bloodlust in wanting to best Gannicus causes some trouble yet again in the thrilling finale of Gods of the Arena. Despite being told to fight together against a band of Solonius’ men, Crixus decides to use this as an opportunity to defeat Gannicus in a one-on-one skirmish. But that’s not all – he first feels the need to remove his competition, Ashur, who also wishes to duel with Crixus to get to Gannicus.

This free-for-all leads to Crixus making the ill-advised move of slashing and breaking his leg before shoving Ashur out of the flaming ring. It’s a head-scratching move, as all it really achieves is thin the numbers of Batiatus’ side – and making a sworn enemy in the process.

6 The Meaning Of His Name

In Gaulish, the name “Crixus” is said to mean “one with curly hair.” Yet, despite Crixus’ various changes in hairstyles during the show, never does the rebel gladiator sport curly hair. During Blood and Sand and Vengeance, his hair is short and trimmed.

Granted, in Gods of the Arena and War of theDamned, his hair is at least somewhat wavy and long, but it’s still a far cry from actually being curly.

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5 His Drastic Change In Personality

Crixus goes through a number of changes both physically and in terms of personality. This would seem to make sense as his experiences would harden him – somewhat altering his attitude and demeanor. Though his shift in personality is so drastic from Gods of the Arena to Blood and Sand that he almost seems like an entirely different character.

During most of the prequel, Crixus is portrayed as a far meeker and naive gladiator as a whole. Transition to the next season, and he’s suddenly very arrogant, defiant, and often abrasive. He verges on being a bully to Spartacus, along with other newer recruits throughout this season.

4 Having The Sense To Distract Theokoles By Reflecting Sunlight

In an uncharacteristically sly move, Crixus somehow has the foresight to distract and weaken the beast that is Theokoles in the arena in an unorthodox way. How does he do this? He takes a helmet and reflects the sunlight directly into his eyes – to a degree that’s just enough for Spartacus to gain the upper hand and take him out.

This would seem implausible as is – but especially coming from a brute like Crixus, whose muscle and sheer strength tend to outshine his wit. It’s a neat little plot twist to explain how they overcome this undefeated monster, though it’s an odd move, particularly from the Gaul.

3 Going Rogue With Naevia

Crixus’ love and unwavering loyalty for Naevia prove endearing for many. Yet, it’s also brought questions and frustration for some of the fanbase. This is especially the case during bouts where she acts defiantly of Spartacus and ends up going somewhat rogue late in the series – often taking matters into her own hands.

She spurs conflicts with both Gannicus and Spartacus, killing Roman prisoners and even an ally, and tries to get Crixus to break from Spartacus’ ranks and fight independently with her. Given how much the odds are already stacked against the rebels, the fact that Crixus often goes along with these self-destructive moves is questionable, to say the least.

2 Nearly Ruined Spartacus’ Plan To Break From The Ludus

By the end of Blood and Sand, it’s clear that Spartacus and Crixus are at odds with each other in terms of their motives. Spartacus desires to liberate the slaves and break from the Ludus, while Crixus wants nothing more than to reunite with his love Naevia – by any means necessary. In this sense, one can understand why he stubbornly refuses to help Spartacus in overcoming Batiacus and the Roman elite. He doesn’t wish to stir the pot, so he may live to fight another day.

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Still, it’s frustrating and odd that the Gaul resists this offer to join with him until the very last minute, almost foiling the whole plan. After all, Crixus would have a much better chance of finding Naevia – who at this point had been sent to another Ludus – if he joined the uprising. It’s only after he learns of Lucretia’s betrayal that he finally gives in, offering his shield for Spartacus to leap from.

1 His Love-Hate Relationship With Spartacus

Crixus is somewhat of an enigma during much of the series, especially regarding his dynamic with Spartacus. On the one hand, he proves a loyal ally and useful fighter at his side. On the other, he has frequent bouts of defiance, clashing with him even after he joins his rebellion.

These clashes make for ample show drama, though they also raise questions, as threats of a schism would only be a detriment to the rebels.

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